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Today’s Leaders and Social Media

Author: Carissa Logan
February 24, 2016

This is a guest post written by George Couros, Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, Parkland School Division

“You have the world at your fingertips. What are you going to do with it?”

This is a message I have been sharing with students for the past few years, as instant communication around the globe has become easier each day. If you think about it, the technology we have today is the worst it is going to be from this day forward. We lament that the iPhone 6 Plus is not that much better than the iPhone 6; but considering how far along the iPhone has come from its original iteration, or even existing at all, it is pretty amazing to see what has developed in such a short amount of time.

Yet, when it comes to technology, what do we focus on with our students? We talk about things such as “digital citizenship” and “cyberbullying.” More of our focus is on what they shouldn’t do, not necessarily what they could and should do.

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Jeremiah Anthony (right) with two fellow “West High Bros” photo via twitchange,com

Take for example the WestHighBros Twitter Account . This is a student who saw cyberbullying in his school, and what did he decide to do? He wouldn’t bully others, but would encourage them. Jeremiah Anthony, the student who first started the account, began complimenting students in his school. He decided social media was a way for him to not only make a difference locally (in his own school), but to inspire students (and adults) around the world to use technology in a way to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Start local, impact global.

We need to shift the focus from developing the leaders of tomorrow to developing our students as the leaders of today. There has been a lot of  time spent on talking about the possibilities of tomorrow without focusing on what is available to us—today—for us to use to make a positive impact.

One of my favorite quotes is from a good friend who says, “Kids often defy expectations if you give them the opportunity.” If we want to ensure a better tomorrow, let’s help our students lead today. Perhaps this is a better way to guarantee the positive future that can be created.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FranklinCovey.

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